Ever feel angry with children?

Here are 10 coping strategies to help you defuse. Article from Healthier Mummy. Find Article here I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get a bit angry and shouty with my children. It’s usually because they’re not listening, or they’re squabbling or faffing about while I’m trying to get their hair and teeth brushed before it’s time to leave for school. Sometimes it’s simply the level of noise – a house with three kids is lived at top volume, and it can make my head spin. Sometimes, however, I shout because I’m dead tired and ready for the day to end. And of course, they’re still not listening. But I don’t like myself much when I lose control with my kids, so recently I signed up for a course on understanding anger for parents run by the British Association of Anger Management (BAAM). Here are the top 10 things I learned: It’s not them, it’s you. Think about the last time you were angry with your children. ‘A parent doesn’t get angry because of what a child says or does,’ says Mike Fisher, director of BAAM. ’Instead you get angry because of a sense of momentary inadequacy – for that moment, you felt like a failure as a parent because you had no control over your child.’ He says that when your child pushes back against your rules, you feel you then have justification for getting angry. Listen carefully to your child. Many parents don’t listen properly, according to Mike. Ask your child what he needs, and hear what he has to say. Accept that it’s okay to have a different opinion. We all...

Young People and Anger

As society in general gets more and more angry with the world around them, it’s inevitable that their children will follow suit. Its commonly acknowledged that children are products of their upbringing and if anyone is to blame for their children’s behaviour, more often than not, you can point the finger at their parents. But is it really fair? Aren’t we all in the same boat, doing what we can to survive this ride we call life? Haven’t the parents got enough to deal with, as much as their children? Too many questions maybe, but questions worth asking. What makes young people angry? And can we as parents help them find peace with the world and peace with their inner emotions and feelings? In my book the answer will always be, yes we can! What makes young people angry? It’s the same for children and adults alike, but just in a different context. Jealously, rejection, anxiety, pressure and stress are felt by children as much as their parents. Children express their anger and stress in exactly the same way too. Adults and children alike shout, throw tantrums, smash things, throw things, hit things and hurt things. The things are also the same across the age spectrum, be it their toys, themselves or their loved ones. It can be argued that children get a worse deal than adults because children’s worries are dismissed without hesitation. We’ve all heard of the ‘Children must be seen and not heard’ rule of a more stricter age, and children are shouted down as a matter of routine. Stop it, shut up, don’t be so...

How to deal with University stress

Thousands of young men and women have gone to university this week. Some for the first time, some for the second and some for the last time. They’ve left home to spend their most formative years learning the skills to venture forth into the big wide world and get themselves a job on the strength of their academic results. Thousands of young men and women grinning with nerves as they wave their parents goodbye and turn their backs on their childhood. Nervous smiles as they ponder what to expect; making new friends and fitting in, managing their own finances, controlling their own time and deciding what to cook.   Many will prosper and have the time of their lives. Many will make friendships which will last a life-time and many will excel at their chosen subjects and go onto get their perfect jobs and enjoy a career of wealth, happiness and fulfilment. Many will fall at the first hurdle and many will succumb to the stresses and strains of university life and drop out. Many students go for the wrong reasons, be it to impress their parents or to get their parents off their backs. Many go simply because they have nothing else better to do and many go because the prospect of getting a job and working for a living fills them with dread. Whatever reason, the truth of the matter is stark; university throws up many hidden threats which can push the stress levels of any young person to their limits.   But not all Stress is Harmful. It’s with this in mind that you should remember...

Teenage Stress & Anger

This morning I read a really interesting article about teenagers who react more aggressively to situations due to what they think of someone’s ability to change.  A recent study brought out from the University of Texas Austin shows that teenagers who don’t believe people have the ability to make conscious and willing changes to their behaviour are more likely to act aggressively in situations where their temper may be tested. The study also showed that teenagers can reduce their aggressive behaviour by learning that others around them are able to change, and this was written up in a report released in the last few days. We already know that teenagers who are raised in a hostile environment are more likely to develop anger problems, but this new study brings a totally new concept out into the open. The main finding of the survey was that some teenagers believe that people are either good or bad, and can’t be changed. Teens who think like this don’t tend to think of anyone as neutral, and it can take only a small incident to label someone as bad. For instance, in the study it was found that some of the teenagers became agitated and angry when they were simply bumped in the corridor whilst walking along at school.  Instead of rationally realising that it was an accident, they label the “offender” as evil and are convinced that they did it on purpose to cause harm and stress. With over 1600 8th-10th grade pupils present in the study, from a variety of different schools in both high and low income areas of the...

Self-Esteem

Self-Esteem is a topic that is discussed amongst young people and in schools, but it often goes un-noticed outside of these environments. Whilst government advisors, educators, mental health experts and psychologists all agree that self-esteem is extremely important to our wellbeing, it’s not something often talked about. Those with high self-esteem tend to be more motivated in day-to-day tasks, have the ability to handle criticism, are able to take responsibility for their actions, take pride in their achievements and take control of their lives. Whilst people with low self-esteem might also be able to carry out many of the feats listed above, studies show that people with high self-esteem will on average perform more effectively and be happier. One of the main issues surrounding Self-esteem is the negative stigma that is often portrayed. Many people believe that having low self-esteem means that you suffer from depression – in reality, this is far from the truth, and causes people to worry unnecessarily about their mental health. Provoking Environment Self-esteem is prominent amongst children, and youngsters that do not view themselves as “perfect”, may show signs of developing low self-esteem. In today’s society image is so important, and whether you agree with it or not, kids are trying to look like their idols. Whether this means fasting to lose weight, spending money to appear rich, getting tattoos and piercings to look cool – the signs of low self amongst teenagers are everywhere, and it’s a worrying trend that needs addressing. Individuals in an unhappy relationship may also experience feelings of low self-esteem. Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, disgust, anger & disappointment...

Angry Teens or should that be Tweens?

Here’s an article I’ve just written, featured in YourDocMedical.co.uk Having just attended a one day workshop on the Challenges of Teenagers, I’m keenly reminded of the difficult position this age group occupies.  Caught in the middle of Childhood and Adulthood, this age group, which can begin as early as 9 and go on somewhere past 19+, is in the insecure position of ‘transition’.  The brain and body is undergoing a rapid period of growth, rivalled only by the early stages of infancy and toddlerhood.  Indeed theorists call this period the ‘second individuation’, the first being when a toddler begins to assert his/her independence from parents both physically and wilfully. Individuation As we know this is exactly what a young person must do in order to develop into a fully fledged adult in life.  Move away from Mum and Dad, Care Home or Foster Parents in order to become independent.  But what are the conditions from which this independence must form? Research has shown that the seeds for successful independence are sown in the first individuation or toddler stage of life. If a child is praised and rewarded for their newfound freedom to choose and act independently their esteem is boosted and they feel pleased with their accomplishments.  However, if they are chastised and shamed for their independent ways, they internalise these negative messages and feelings into what is known as the ‘Shadow’. Carl Jung describes the ‘shadow’ as the negative criticisms and shames, which we hide, deny and repress as teenagers and adults. (Reference and further reading)  The shadow then becomes a source of our anger, especially at others,...
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